The sudden death of a former Hawick shopkeeper at the age of 81 has led to an outpouring of heartfelt tributes from across the town and beyond.
Sonny Murray’s Uni-Parts car accessory business in Hawick High Street served Borders motorists for 26 years, and he was often to be seen lying under vehicles and looking beneath bonnets in a bid to help customers.
After winding up the business in 2006, Sonny went on to work as a self-employed taxi driver until 2016.
However, he remained active until just before suffering an aneurysm on Friday, April 26, volunteering to drive for the Red Cross and the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service.
He died of organ failure two days after taking ill following an operation at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, and a funeral service will take place at Wilton Church in Hawick tomorrow, May 9.
The passing of Sonny, born Walter, has prompted many tributes on social media sites.
Jennifer Duncan Beaumont posted: “I still have all the memories of the laughs we had when I went into his shop. Shine bright, Sonny.”
Stacey Bowman added: “He made me smile every time I passed the shop.”
His granddaughter Ashley Murray, 26, said her family had found comfort in the dozens of messages of condolence sent to them.
She said: “We knew he was very well known in the Borders, but we didn’t expect quite as much, but we really appreciated it.”
Ashley recalled her granddad’s prodigious appetite for work, adding: “He had quite a lot of jobs.
“He worked in I think it was Mother Reilly’s Chip Shop in Bourtree Place when he was younger.
“He was a milkman at one point and worked at Miller’s the butchers. He was a window cleaner and he waited on tables in the Conservative club.
“He also had a business providing rust-proofing for cars which predated Uni-Parts.
“Driving was his life. He loved cars.”
Ashley, who has fond memories of her grandad taking her on trips to Bamburgh and Seahouses beaches in Northumberland as a child, added: “He was always very upbeat.
“He was always very happy and would help anybody who needed anything. He was there for them. He was a very kind man.”
Sonny’s wife Brenda died in 1995.Following their marriage in 1962, the couple, of Silverbuthall Road in Hawick, had two sons, Steven and the late Simon, who died in 1999, and four grandchildren – Rachel, Ashley, Hannah and Amy.